Review: Abus Bordo Series Locks – Compact Bike Protection


Introduction by Francis Cebedo

Ahh bike locks, where are they when you need them? Do you use a coiled one under your frame or a big U-Lock that is omnipresent in the front triangle of your bike. Nobody wants the clutter but if you need to run inside the store to grab something, can you really risk leaving your steed unprotected?

So there’s a new breed of locks that are more stealthy and integrated into the bike. The concept is make a lock that looks good and doesn’t take a lot of room it is more likely to be left us just a part of the bike, even a nice bike. Our new contributor Don Palermini tests the Abus Bordo 6000 below.

Versatile Abus Bordo 6000 bridges gap between U-locks and cables…at a price

Review by Don Palermini

If you got caught stealing a horse back in the Old West, the penalty was stiff and quick–death by hanging, no questions asked. And while the theft of a bicycle is perhaps a bit less egregious, and our sense of crime and punishment more civilized, I must admit to some dark revenge fantasies in this regard.

Given the impracticalities–and perhaps slight inequity–of such punishment in this day and age, the best thing we bike lovers can do is try to prevent the theft in the first place…enter the Abus Bordo 6000.

The Bordo 6000 looks nothing like the traditional U-locks, cable locks and chains we’re used to. It actually resembles a folding carpenter’s ruler, and functions in a similar manner. Articulating via a series of rivets and long, narrow, rubber-coated steel plates, the Bordo opens to a total length of 90 cm and folds down to a manageable 20 cm length when not in use. A lock cylinder at one end captures the final plate, opening and closing with a turn of the key.

The Bordo’s unique configuration puts its protection level somewhere between the U-lock and cable/chain locks. Accordingly, Abus rates the Bordo 6000 at “good theft protection at medium theft risk,” meaning it’s a good bet for your commuter steed at the farmer’s market, but probably not the best choice for securing your pride-and-joy at Penn Station.

In use, the Bordo easily articulates through frame members and wheels, not to mention around bike racks, sign posts and small trees. The series of plates move freely and on only one dimensional plane, making the Bordo less of a wrestling match to use than coiled cable locks which spring back. It takes a bit of initial trial-and-error to learn the multi-link ropes, but once you do it becomes an easy scenario to manage.

If you want to secure a helmet along with your bike, the wide-but-flat profile of the lock plates slide easily through larger-sized helmet vents–a nice plus. The thickness of U-Locks and cables normally require a less secure routing through helmet straps.

Carrying a lock is always an annoyance, but the Bordo ensemble manages this better than most. The lock fits in an included hard rubber holster which secures to the frame via hook-and-loop straps or by bolting it to water bottle bosses. Both methods result in blissfully, rattle-free transport–a refreshing change from the annoying staccato of most U-lock/bracket combos. Leg clearance, it should be noted, is excellent, given the Bordo’s narrower-than-a-water bottle profile. This also makes the lock easy to carry in a rear trouser pocket if you’re so inclined.

About the author: Don Palermini

Chicago-born editorial director Don Palermini became a cycling-based life-form in the sixth grade after completing a family road bike tour of his home state. Three years later he bought his first mountain bike to help mitigate the city's pothole-strewn streets, and began exploring the region's unpaved roads and trails. Those rides sparked a much larger journey which includes all manner of bike racing, commuting, on- and off-road bike advocacy, and a 20-plus-year marketing career in the cycling industry. Now residing in the San Francisco Bay Area and pedaling for Mtbr, his four favorite words in the English language are "breakfast served all day," together in that order.

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  • Carbonman says:

    This is basically the same as the old Specialized folding bike lock. It’s heavy but compact. The way this lock is defeated is by wedging between the plates to unroll the pivoting rivet or fracture a plate at the rivet hole.
    The Granit cylinder option is the most secure; you can’t bump, pick or drill it. The $$ premium is tough to take, though.
    I have two Specialized folding locks for my wife’s bike and mine but we rarely carry them. It’s simpler to park the bikes next to where we stop and leave them in a high gear, with one of us within a few feet of the bikes at all times.

  • Pedro says:

    I live in Geneva, Switzerland now. This style of folding lock is practically the only lock you see on bikes here. They are practical and provide enough security for this relatively safe city. I doubt these would be sufficiently secure for a US city.


  • Craig says:

    Geneva sounds safe. I lived in Tokyo, and there one only needs a thin wire lock, which is light and small enough to wear on the wrist as a bracelet. And when it did get stolen because I had neglected to use the lock when popping into the LBS momentarily, the police kindly put out an APB (all points bulletin), found it the next day, and brought it back to the police station for me to pick up.
    Now I’m in the US, and burdened with a massive U-lock 🙁

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